This week, in the UK it’s been HOT! We rarely see summer temperatures above around 25 degrees Celsius. But this week it’s been reaching highs of 37 in some parts of the country. For us, in the UK, this means pain and suffering. You see, we’re not equipped to cope with extreme heat. Most of our homes, schools and places of work do not have air con, and the vast majority of us do not have pools in our gardens. Also, as the climate in the UK is generally mild, our bodies aren’t used to extreme heat!
So this has had me thinking about activities to do with the kids on those days where it is just TOO HOT! I’ve managed to compile this list of cooling activities. Please leave a comment with any other suggestions you might have.
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- Find your Local Outdoor Pool.
Most of us, thankfully, are in reasonable distance of a public pool or lido, where we can take the kids to cool off. My tip? Arrive early to secure a decent spot (preferably in some shade) next to the pool before the crowds emerge. Lay out some beach towels, take along some Inflatables and Squirt toys, and let them go wild. I guarantee, they will play happily for hours, and if you take a picnic lunch and plenty of sun protection, then you’re set for the day!
2. Go to your local splash zone.
Again, most towns in the UK now have a splash zone where you can take the kids for some cooling water fun. In fact, I can think of at least three that are within reasonable driving distance to where we live. Again, arrive early to secure a good spot, as these places get extremely busy on hot days. A quick google search should tell you some splash zones in your local area and the kids will have a whale of a time!
3. Go to the beach
We are lucky in the UK, being such a small island, that no matter where you are situated, you are never more than a couple of hours drive from the beach. We live in the midlands (So in theory as far as possible from the coast) and yet, it’s only a 90 minute drive to the beautiful North Wales Coastline. Wake up early, fill the car with essential beach kit (kite, picnic blanket, bucket and spade, sun protection, towels, swimwear) pack a picnic, and you’re set for a full day at the beach! If it’s really hot, you may want to invest in a parasol or shade tent, so that you’re not sat in direct sunlight all day long.
4. Have a water fight.
Some days, it’s best to stay home, so for those days, I have created an ’emergency’ water fight kit. Its filled with water balloons, water pistols, cannons and squirters. We love these genius Bunch O Balloons which require no tying and fill up all at once! On these days I fill the paddling pool and water table, put the kids in their swim wear, slather on the factor 50 and let them go wild in the garden, getting as soaked as they like. Do all the hard work early in the morning before it gets too hot, and then let them spend the day getting soaked.
5. Picnic in the Park
Getting soaked not your thing? Or just looking for a more tranquil way to spend a hot summer’s day? Why not pack a picnic, head to the park, find a nice shady spot under a tree and let the children run free for an hour or two with a ball. These UFO balls are fantastic! An easy, free and dry day out!
6. Have a BBQ.
A lovely thing to do when it’s just too hot, is to take your dining Al Fresco. Create a big crispy salad, a pitcher of refreshing juice or mocktail, and cook up some burgers on the BBQ. This saves you having to slave away in a hot kitchen, and, well it’s British tradition isn’t it? Check out This site for some fantastic BBQ recipes for even the fussiest of eaters.
7. Water Table Fun.
How about taking your water table to the next level? We recommend a Tuff Spot for thousands of open ended play opportunities. There are so many fantastic ideas for imaginative and creative water table fun! Check out this site for some inspiration 25 Water Play Ideas
8. Ice Exploring.
This is a fantastic activity that is both cooling and educational. Fill a lunch box with ice and some little treasures, and challenge young kids to ‘excavate’ the items. Check out THIS link for ideas.
9. Make Mocktails and Sundaes.
Another great one for keeping the kids engaged. Lay out ingredients on a table and let them get as creative as they like. A great opportunity for food education, and even mathematical language involving capacity, fractions and measure. Check out these ideas HERE
10. Find a Brook.
One of our favourite activities to do as a family, is to pop on some wellies, grab our nets and find a little babbling brook to explore. This is a fantastic idea for introducing STEM learning into your play and this awesome explorer kit can help. My girls played happily for hours in this little spot and it was beautifully shady and tranquil.
So there we are, 10 fantastic ideas for those really hot days where your energy is too low for high maintenance activities. How do you cope with the kids when it’s just too hot? Comment below.